Giorgio Vasari (Italian: [ˈdʒordʒo vaˈzari]; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, writer and historian, most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.
On Saturday I stayed with my husband in the Boat Room, overlooking the Thames in London, perched up on the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The edifice, which juts out and looks seemingly marooned there by receding waters, was collaboratively created by David Kohn Architects, the artist Fiona Banner and Artangel for Living Architecture, the company set up by the dreamy philosopher Alain de Botton. It is named after and shaped like the Roi des Belges, the riverboat commanded by Joseph Conrad in the Congo in the late 19th century. Conrad recoiled from our metropolis and great river, both murky to him, “sleepless and monstrous”. Maybe parts are, but the city is still the greatest and most evocative in the world.
Elena Poniatowska, the Mexican journalist and author who is a Vice-President of Interlitq, has been cited in “A journalist remembers Mexican architect Pedro Ramirez Vázquez” (Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 06.05.13): “Now the most famous and respected of those journalists, Elena Poniatowska, has stepped up in the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada to share some reminiscences of her interviews with Ramirez, one in 1967 and another in 1973. Poniatowska, who’s also a novelist, was one of the first reporters on the scene after the Tlatelolco massacre, and her landmark book, “La noche de Tlatelolco,” helped blow open the truth about what occurred there.Yet in her La Jornada recollections, Poniatowska mentions Tlatelolco only in passing. Instead, the piece contains excerpts of Ramirez’s thoughts on how Mexico’s climactic extremes affect architectural design, and his appraisals of contemporaries such as Luis Barragan (who he pronounces “one of the great masters of authentic Mexican architecture”) and Jose Luis Cuevas.”
Alain de Botton, the British author who is a Consulting Editor for Interlitq, has been cited in “Why there really is no place like home” (Sarah Hampson, The Globe and Mail, 24.04.13): “What works of design and architecture talk to us about is the kind of life that would most appropriately unfold within and around them. They tell us of certain moods that they seek to encourage and sustain in their inhabitants,” writes Alain de Botton in The Architecture of Happiness. He suggests that it is actually architecture’s task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be – or better yet – become. But “geographic cures,” as therapists like to call the urge to move to a new place, don’t often work. Houses make promises of happiness they can’t always keep. And so we move on.